A South Florida Original
By Steven O. Evans, PhD
Do you have the one place you go to when you’ve had a long day, and you just want your comfort food, guaranteed great service, and that professional but still cozy atmosphere? Or your local favorite restaurant you take your business partners, friends, and visiting family members? For me, both of those have always been J. Mark’s restaurant.
Locally owned, couple Steve & Ariel take great pride in their restaurants. They see that each guest is taken care of personally. “One complaint is too many,” were their words. They are a delight as people, but serious when it comes to food, service, and providing the perfect dining experience to each and every guest at both their locations: 1245 N Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 or 1490 NE 23rd Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33062.
Just drinks? They have them. Relax after a long day or spend time with your friends over J Marks signature Cosmopolitan which uses a mild crop-organic vodka to accomplish the flavor infusion, a Pineapple Brown Sugar Mojito refreshing like a piña colada atypical of a sugary mojito, or Chili Pineapple Cilantro-Rita. Also, the J Marks Mojito uses a coconut rum to add a twist to a classic drink.
I have my typical go to dishes. The New York Strip medium rare, Orange Chicken, J. Mark’s Tender Salad, or Hickory Chicken Sandwich are ones I order without even looking at the menu.
However, J. Mark’s offers one of the most diverse menus, with a flavor and dish for any palate.
Seafood your thing? The Miso Style or Scottish Salmon are both ones to try. Pan seared with caramelized miso glaze or grilled and brushed with their signature lemon herb butter, both are light but enough to satisfy. Need more? Try the fresh caught Maryland Wild Blue Crab Cakes served up with their fresh (yes, fresh) blue crab.
Taking a date? Get something to share. The Prime Rib, Buffalo Chick and Green Tomato BLT (where is Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy when you need them?) Sliders are fun to swap out with your table mate(s). Take a group and get plenty to pass around. Check out their slider happy hour where you can mix and match all of the styles.
How about a slice of the French Quarter? The Shrimp New Orleans Pasta offers up blackened shrimp, Andouille sausage, sauteed mushrooms, peppers and onions, with a cajun cream sauce. Gumbo fans must try. Ca c’est bon!
Love me tender? The skirt steak is immersed for 24 hours in lime and garlic marinade and topped with Chimichurri sauce. It’s a slice of beef that makes my mouth water just writing this sentence.
But wait. The J. Mark’s boys, Steve and Ariel, also serve up breakfast. This isn’t your typical ham and eggs. Steak Tips and Eggs, Breakfast Eggroll, and Bacon Benedict are just a few of the options. But the Seafood Benedict is their signature dish. Made with their fresh Maryland Wild Blue crab (see above), this is complete with toasted Tuscan ciabatta bread, poached eggs, and homemade hollandaise sauce. Set your clock for Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00AM to 3:00PM.
What’s left? Ah, dessert. You’ll take a short venture to Key West with their signature Key Lime pie. Made fresh daily, the fresh graham cracker rough cut candied pecan and cinnamon along with the sweet tart custard will make you want the crust first. So turn it over and start bottoms up.
My motto this year has been, “Make 2019 iconic.” Enjoy every day. Choose where to spend your gay dollar. J. Mark’s has the trifecta of dining, atmosphere, service, and food. Steve and Ariel will personally make sure that you have the perfect experience. If you go, look for me and say hello. I will probably be there.
Visit www.JMarksRestaurant.com or call (954) 390-0770 in Fort Lauderdale and (954) 782-7000 in Pompano Beach.